Audience Involvement

  • Audience Involvement


Have Hoola Hoops, Balloons & Crayons! Let’s Meet!

The following materials, links, pots, pdfs are all focused on AUDIENCE INVOLVEMENT exercises from my career as a speaker, workshop leader, facilitator, consultant and college professor.

Included are articles, blogs, webinars, podcasts from 1995 article in NSA SPEAKER magazine through to the ppt used at the October 2012 PSASA Joberg Chapter meeting presented on October 24th, 2012.

“The Asia Professional Speakers Singapore was proud to have Robert Alan Black CSP present an Added-Value Session in November for association members and guests. Alan’s wealth of knowledge was apparent. Indeed some slides contained enough ideas to create a full-day seminar in themselves! Should you choose to welcome Alan to your audience, ensure you give him enough time to share with you the depth and breadth of his ideas and strategies! Thank you Robert Alan Black for generously sharing with APSS.”
Tim Wade, President 2010, Asia Professional Speakers Singapore, 17 Dec 2010

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Actually the feedback varied from some of the 40 people thought it was fantastic to some thought it was too much material in too short of a time frame…

I agree on both extremes of the feedback points.

I did not give a crisp 3 to 6 points or examples speech.  I filled an hour in a fast pace with what I believed would be valuable information. I shared many ideas in 60 minutes including some sample involvement exercises that can be used with any size group.  My goal was to do an overview, broadbrush of the immensity and extremely wide range of audience involvement exercises that speakers and trainers can choose from.

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What worked in Pretoria, South Africa didn’t completely work in Singapore.

Lesson learned.

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OVERVIEW of Session

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40 to 40,000 – My ADDED-VALUE session for APSS on November 9th prior to their main meeting drew nearly 40 paying members and guests, some who came initially for just the ADDED-VALUE session and stayed.  Feedback afterward was very positive and strong.  You can see the slide show I designed for it at SLIDESHARE under my name “wanderingalan”.

My plan, while being in Singapore doing a workshop in November  this year, was to visit the APSS – Asian Professional Speakers Singapore to meet fellow speakers in Singapore.  When I contacted the past president Nishant Kasibhatia, who I met last year in Singapore, he asked if I would be willing to do a session they call: ADDED-VALUE SESSION.  I said yes immediately and sent him 3 ideas of such sessions I have done in New Zealand, Australia, France and for some chapters of NSA in the US.

The planning team selected the one I just did for the Pretoria Chapter of PSASA in South Africa two weeks ago.

What was meant as a way to meet other speakers from Asia has turned into a global tour (ha ha).

Here is their monthly newsletter for the event.

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apss november meeting newsletter

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Complete Slide Show on SlideShare

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Complete slide show on Smugmug webpage


complete ppt presentation…some slides were left off due to 60 min format.

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NSA SPEAKER magazine article from 1996

Audience Involvement Article

Audience Involvement a Bag of Tools for the

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Additional Support Material about Audience Involvement

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001 144 Ways to Involve Your Audiences (1 of 2)

002 144 Ways to Involve Your Audiences (2 of 2)

003 144 Ways to Involve, What, When & Where

004 Audience Socialization Model(s) & Methods

005 Audience Involvement Bag of Tricks

006 Cre8v Thoughts Newsletter Have Balloons…1 of 2

007 Cre8v Thoughts Newsletter Have Balloons…2 of 2

008 NSA Audience Involvement Survey Results

009 Have Balloons, Crayons and Hoola Hoops Let’s Meet!, sample e-book


PPT Presentation

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prepared for the Added Value Session for November 9th for APSS at the Sheration Hotel

40 to 40,000 Involving …link

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Added Value Review – Tell, Show, Involve and Reach Them!

Robert Alan Black, CSP

Review by Heather Hansen

For 30 years, Robert Alan Black, CSP has been travelling the world teaching individuals, teams and organizations how to be better communicators, more productive leaders and how to unleash their creative genius. Across all these topics, there is one thing all of his programmes have in common – audience involvement.

Alan gave us a sampling of his many audience engagement tools during his added-value session on 9 November titled, 40-40,000: Tell, Show, Involve and Reach Them! Use Audience Involvement to Increase Attention, Intention and Retention of Your Audience Members.

Alan began by sharing the age-old message from Confucius, with his own added twist: “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I may begin to learn. Reach me and get to know me, while you let me get to know you, and we can truly begin learning.” Alan believes that we should approach every presentation as a conversation and an exchange of learning and sharing so that our audiences are also involved and contributing.

Whenever Alan shares this message, he receives the same response, “But I’m a SPEAKER!” Yes, but as Alan points out with the support of a ‘learning pyramid’, if you only speak, your participants will retain about 5% of your message after 20 minutes. On the other hand, if you get them involved in demonstrations, discussions and practice, in teaching one another and repeating the whole process, you can come much closer to 100% retention.

One of the challenges I often hear from presenters is that their audiences are too large for audience participation. Alan disagreed. He showed us how to involve the audience in simple ways. For example, you can have your audience help you rearrange the room’s seating to enhance interaction. He had us all shift our chairs just slightly to move our straight rows into a slight arc and everyone in the room immediately felt the change in energy and a stronger connection to each other.

Another tip Alan shared for creating small groups within huge audiences is to have everyone find a partner and then have that pair find another pair. Now you have groups of four who can discuss concepts and participate in activities together.

The key to successful audience involvement is to be sure that every activity you use is relevant to your topic.

Whether you’re using what Alan classified as





mind challenges,

idea warm-ups,

mood-changers or

any other kind of activity,

you (need to ) be able to relate that activity back to the lesson you are trying to teach. Otherwise the activity can backfire and be seen by participants as a waste of time.

Another warning Alan had was to remember that some people aren’t ready to get up close and personal with other people from the moment they walk in the door. You will need to slowly build up to some activities, which require a level of emotional or physical closeness.

Alan challenged us to involve, engage and truly reach our audiences, whether small groups or audiences in the thousands. Focus on you, us and we instead of me, me, me and watch your audience transform as they retain your message at a much deeper level.

To view Alan’s slides for this presentation, go to:

Remember to involve the minds, bodies, souls, spirits of your audiences!

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